Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plato Negro's Parable of the Weather

Sutter County Jail
Yuba City CA

And the Holy Spirit spoke to me through the night, saying speak to them, my servant, about the weather. Tell them they are unaware of the coming weather. The weather station is telling of conditions in nature but the people are ignorant, thus they shall be destroyed. They do not listen to the news but are preoccupied with music, games of chance, idol gossip, lustful sex, mind altering drugs and material gain, usually at the expense of the poor. They cannot see the coming storm on the horizon that shall consume them. “Oh, the Calamity, what will make thee know the Calamity?”

If they would only peek outside the window, they would see the coming storm. They would then prepare themselves, secure the doors, the windows, tie the horses and cows, but the people are in a mind-altered state, medicated against the pain of life. They will not stop dancing to put on their boots, but wink and blink at each other as the sun fades behind the clouds, and the thunder roars, yet they hear it not, for they are consumed in the moment.

Put on your trench coat, carry your umbrella, a voice admonishes them, but they are deaf, dumb and blind, so the storm proceeds to consume them.

And then they wail as the water approaches and their children are broken from their grasp. Oh, they cry, only if we had known the storm was coming. Only if we had listened to the weather station, we might have avoided the Calamity! We might have grabbed our silver and gold and fled to higher ground. We would have gathered our children, our wives and taken them to safety. But in our hard-headedness, we heeded not the warnings and prepared not for the danger. We partied like the fools on the Titanic, until the ocean swallowed the great ship.

And so it is with the economic weather. Any fool knows things go up and then come down—nothing lasts forever. But the greedy persist until the end. They are like children in the candy store who can never get enough of the sweet stuff until they eat themselves sick, then cry to Mama they have a stomach ache.

Now their bank accounts are empty, homes in foreclosure, life savings blown to the winds of chance. What shall we do now, they wail, where shall we go? They join the army of the homeless and the hungry, pushing shopping carts through the streets. No more Hennessey and Champagne. They join the poor drinking rot gut wine to quench their thirst. Oh, if we had not been greedy, if we had not become addicted to games of chance. Oh, if we had listened to the weather man. But we were too busy dancing, drinking, winking and blinking. Now we must suffer the water and the fire.

From Up From Ignorance, the Soulful Musings of a North American African, Marvin X, Black Bird Press, 2009.

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